…started with a clear blue sky, with a morning chill in the air! The first time I have experienced this on the trip so far, may there be many more.
I had breakfast in bed, which means I rolled over and opened the tent, lit the stove and boiled water for coffee, then unwrapped the brioche and boiled eggs I had ready, all whilst still in my sleeping bag! Delightful.
Another flat day along the Rhine valley, and even a short stretch along the Rhine itself today! I made good time again, especially considering my tyre trouble.
About 10kms in I started to notice a wobble on my back wheel. I assumed my wheel was buckled, and that spokes would start popping any minute! For some reason I have been a bit paranoid about my spokes breaking, maybe from hearing similar stories from others, and knowing how heavy I am. Anyway, I thought it could probably last till I got to Huningue for the night which was about another 60kms away. Then after another 35kms or so, it started to get much worse, almost throwing my back wheel sideways, certainly not straight! The next town with a bike shop was another 10kms away so I pressed on. When I got there I managed to understand enough French to work out he was on holiday! So I pressed on for the last 15kms still waiting for the wheel to collapse any minute. It didn’t, and when I got to the shop it turned out not to be buckled at all. I had over-inflated it and so it was splitting the tyre at various points and mishaping it! 20mins later I was off with a new tyre and still at the campsite by 330pm!
About 8 others cyclists followed me in, so it must be the place to be for tourers tonight!
Along the last stretch of canal there was a great project where they have put all the planets of our Solar System to scale along the tow-path. I did something like it using google earth at school, but doing it physically is great!
I am now in Huningue, which is on the Rhine, with Germany opposite and Switzerland to the right. Needless to say it was impossible to get maps from the info office! Although I have been looking at German mountains over to my left all day, I will not now actually pass through the country en route, so the five minutes I spend over the bridge constitutes the German part of my trip. Tomorrow I will need new money, new langauge, new map, everything!
I start heading for the hills too, so the expected mileage drops also! I could have done more today, physical wise, although flat riding means leg work constantly. So hopefully I will cope with hills too.